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How can I get a free distance education?

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Asked by Linda Thursday Jan 31st 2008 in Online Courses
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Open Courseware is probably the most common way schools offer free distance education. It's when schools post their classroom materials like handouts, syllabi, videos of lectures and notes, and even tests and quizzes online for anyone to access. Some colleges, like MIT, offer Open Courseware on nearly all their classes--while other colleges only offer it with a select few programs.

The problem with Open Courseware and other types of free distance education is that it won't get you a degree. Online colleges charge tuition like traditional colleges do, and non-college classes generally cost money too--usually more the more teacher interaction you have with the class.

If you're looking for a degree, you should try applying for as many grants and scholarships as possible to bring the cost down before applying for loans, which you'll have to pay back later. Your education may not be free, but if you get enough grants and scholarships, the cost could be significantly reduced.

Here are a few articles on this site that may be of help:

Open Courseware:
http://www.distance-education.org/Articles/Open-Courseware--How-You-Can-Take-Classes-at-MIT--Stanford--or-Harvard-for-Free-45.html

Grants and scholarships:
http://www.distance-education.org/Articles/Grants-and-Scholarships--What-You-Need-to-Know-42.html

Best of luck!

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